Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist

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It is interesting but it was tragic. If you receive a military order you must obey. That is where the big difference between a military and a political order comes in. One can sabotage a political order but to disobey a military command is treason.

Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist (August 8, 1881 – c. November 13, 1954) was a leading German field marshal during World War II. He was sent to the Soviet Union where he was condemned to a 10-year sentence in 1952 for war crimes and he died in captivity in Vladimir Prison in 1954. He was the highest ranked German officer to die in Soviet captivity.

Sourced[edit]

  • Recently I was discharged from the German army while in this prison and was informed that I am on the so-called war criminal list number seven. I haven't the faintest idea of what war crime I could have committed. The main thing is that I have a clear conscience.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (12 June 1946). Quoted in "The Nuremberg Interviews" - by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • The Russians were five times superior to us poor but brave Germans, both in numbers and in the superiority of their equipment. My immediate commander was Hitler himself. Unfortunately, Hitler's advice in those critical periods was invariably lousy.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (25 June 1946). Quoted in "The Nuremberg Interviews" - by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • It is interesting but it was tragic. If you receive a military order you must obey. That is where the big difference between a military and a political order comes in. One can sabotage a political order but to disobey a military command is treason.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (25 June 1946). Quoted in "The Nuremberg Interviews" - by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004

About Kleist[edit]

  • Ewald von Kleist was an officer and a gentleman in an era when such characteristics were liabilities.
    • Samuel W. Mitcham Jr., in Hitler's Generals (2003)

External links[edit]

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